A Guide to Drugstore Products: Part 1

My friend and fellow HMUA (that’s how we abbreviate Hairstylist/Makeup Artist in our industry) Priscilla, got a good chuckle when I told her the amount of over-the-counter products that I use. She said, “you gotta blog about it”.

I am not sure why I buy over-the-counter products. I have a 40% off discount on most makeup and hair brands and my Aveda discount is ridiculous (I’d tell you what it is, but then you’d resent me). Maybe it’s part nostalgia, reminding me of the days I’d walk into my hometown Pamida and purchase Primo (“If you like Giorgio, you’ll love Primo”) and part because I actually do like the products that I buy.


The following is a list of my notable favorites and then a list of consumer faves.

Julie’s Picks

#1. Clairol Condition 3-N-1 Mousse Maximum Hold with Sunscreen $6.69

I’ve been using hair mousse since 1986. This one does it all for me. It gives me volume, hold, and conditions my hair. A great prep product before I blow-dry, or if I air-dry.



#2. Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner $4.49

I’m a smudger, so I’m constantly on the hunt for a decent eyeliner that doesn’t make me look like a hot mess in an hour. I’ve tried all the Editor’s picks- Urban Decay, MAC, Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown… but the only ones that have worked for me are NARS and Rimmel. Idk. Go figure. Rimmel’s ScandalEyes goes on easy, has a great amount of pigment, and stays put.




#3.  e.l.f. studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder $3.00

Um, why name a makeup brand e.l.f. ? I get that it stands for eyes, lips, face, but seriously, it has to be the least sexy name out there. What are you wearing? A lipstick by Troll. An eyeshadow by Hobbit. A blush by Garden Gnome.

If you can get past the name, they actually have some decent products. One of the issues with e.l.f cosmetics is the staying power. If you don’t mind re-applying during the day, you’re good to go. The e.l.f. studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder is a dupe of NARS Orgasm Blush and Laguna Bronzer. It’s a bit more shimmery AND it’s NOT a contour product. Bronzer is applied to the upper cheekbone and should have a warm tint to it (as if you’ve been kissed by the sun). A contour color is applied to the h0llows of the cheek and the tint should be slightly neutral to ashy in tone, depending on the undertone of skin.



Consumer Picks (based on reviews)


#1. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream $4.49

A lipgloss under $5 that doesn’t have Tinkerbell on it? SOLD.

PROS: Great color selection. CONS: Tends to dry out lips.



#2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish $7.99

When you don’t have time to get a nail salon, this is your second best option.

PROS: Supposed to last 14 days. CONS: Still not as a good as a pro job.



#3. Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara $8.99

The best mascaras can be found at drugstores with the exception of Lancome, Benefit, Kevyn Aucoin, Chanel, Clinique,  and Dior.   With Maybelline you can do no wrong. New York Lash Sensational Mascara has the first patented fanning brush with 10 layers of bristles to reveal a full flourish of lashes.

PROS: Separates and thickens. CONS: May flake



And there you go! Most of these products can be found at Target, Walgreens, and CVS. For the  part professional, part drug store shopping experience, try Ulta Beauty.


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